As we all witnessed the promising advancements in global technology which not only created a great impact on human life style, business psychology, culture, and environment etc but also exhibit a vital role to bind the distributed networks into a single centralized environment. I love to say that now we are living in a global technological arena connected through global tools, life is so fast and information flow is so high. At individual level, management is quite easy but how to quantify metrics when dealing with enterprise level.
Fundamentally, Information Management (IM) is the collection and organization of raw facts (data) from multiple sources and its distribution and dissemination to one or more audience. The most successful information management has been described as getting the right information to the right person in the right format at the right time. Many Organizations (public/Private) are investing to enhance Information Management best practices solutions. This is being driven by diverse factors like need to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of business processes, demands of compliance regulations and keen to deliver better solutions and services. To make a comprehensive Information management strategy, CIO’s need to take care of various Critical Success Factors which require basic principles and best practices to plan implement and deploy.
In terms of technology, information management encompasses systems such as:
- Integration and collaboration tools
- Knowledge management
- Content management
- Document/Record management
- Single channel communication network
- Asset/identity/Accounts management
- Learning management Systems
In the context of Enterprise Information Management (EIM) which integrates Business intelligence and enterprise content management. In fact, the whole scenario revolves around system which incorporates people, processes, information architecture, metadata, quality content, technology and much more.
Challenges and trends
In real time environment, after the recent economical crunch, most organizations are facing enormous problems and tackling issues. The year 2009 was marked as phase shift in terms of challenges and trends, and 2010 is ahead to deal with that. To overcome the existing challenges and to look ahead on emerging ones, we canvassed IT industry for future trends…
Following are the most common IM issues:
- Segregation between integrated & collaborated tools and systems
- Mismatch or intermingle responsibilities for Information Management
- Lack of technical documentation
- Unclear strategic direction for the overall technology environment
- Confrontation with limited resources to deploy desire solutions
- Lack of information and effective usage issues
- Un paralleled and non comprehensive strategic alignment in context of business objectives
- Ineffective cloud computing
- Multiple channels for communications
- Asset protection issues in outsourced environment
- Change management issues
- Risk Mitigation
- Greening Information Management Systems
Few are listed above, more need to come up. For substantial compliance, IM policies, procedure should be well defined according to organizational objectives and strategically formatted to deploy solutions for end users.
What to do for rectification?
Effective IM strategic planning lead to the organizational success.
Strategic planning from an IM standpoint relates to the long-term direction an organization wants to take in leveraging IT for improving its business processes. Effective IM strategic planning involves a consideration of the organization’s demand for Information management and Information technology supply capacity. Determining IM demands will involve a systematic consideration of the organization’s strategic intentions, how these translate into specific objectives and business initiatives, and what IT capabilities will be needed to support these objectives and initiatives.
Keep sharp eye on Information security governance
During strategic planning phase, we need to make sure that proper Information security governance is taking place. Generally responsibility comes up over CEO and CIO’s shoulder. For example; if their companies lack structured management policies and fraud or a breach of security occurs, they could be stand to face prosecution. If they won’t then their companies could pay a hefty fine and damage to reputation as well. Information security governance should become a focused activity, with specific value drivers that include integrity of information, continuity of services and protection of information assets.
By living in the arena of global networking and extending the enterprise beyond its traditional boundaries, security is emerging as a significant governance issue. Hence, Information security should become an integral part of IT governance but keeping information and systems secure is an ongoing challenge. Threats and vulnerabilities keep changing and getting more sophisticated with respect to time. For special safeguard, we need to take severe measures to make the safe and secure. Internal and external controls need to implement according to geographical requirements.
Steering Committee needs to focus on following functions:
- Review the long and short term plans of the IM department to ensure that they are in accordance with the corporate objectives.
- Approve and monitor major acquisitions and the status of IM plans and budgets, establish priorities, approve standards and procedures and monitor overall IM performance
- Review and approve sourcing and strategies for select, or all, IM activities, including in-sourcing or outsourcing, and globalization or off-shoring of functions.
- Review adequacy of resources and allocation of resources in terms of time, personnel and equipment.
- Make decision regarding centralization vs. decentralization and assignment of responsibility
- Report to board of directors on IM/IS activities
Ensure concrete and concise policies and procedures
Policies and procedures reflect management guidance and direction in developing controls over information management systems and related resources. They represent corporate philosophy and the strategic thinking of senior management and business process owners. To be effective, it must be clear and concise. Periodic checks need to define; it should be adaptive in terms of new advents and significant changes in business processes in exploiting IT for efficiency and effectiveness in productivity and competitive gains.
By implementing comprehensive Information management practice, Organizations can grow, may create dynamic difference and will be focused and more aligned to their business objectives and goals. If it happens then steep growing curve will emerge.
This article has outlined essential features for Information Management and best practice during implementation. Main focus is to highlight the importance IM Implementation. I hope it will cover the intention and objective to keep hot eyes on Information Management during strategic planning and deployment in your organization.
Hina Naz is seasoned Technology/Telecom consultant, Communication specialist,Technical writer and Information trainer having diverse experience with telecom vendor and education. She is extremely focused to ensure results according to timelines and persuaded to strategically and cost effectively utilize technology in alignment with corporate goals. Her proven areas are technology strategic planning, integration and deployment, technical communication, program/Project management, implementing best practice methodologies and continuous improvement program.